June 12, 2007
The Woods by Harlan Coben
Mystery/ThrillerFinished on 6/3/07
Rating: 4/5 (Very good)
Twenty years ago, four teenagers at summer camp walked into the woods at night. Two were found murdered, and the others were never seen again. Four families had their lives changed forever. Now, two decades later, they are about to change again.
For Paul Copeland, the county prosecutor of Essex, New Jersey, mourning the loss of his sister has only recently begun to subside. Cope, as he is known, is now dealing with raising his six- year-old daughter as a single father after his wife has died of cancer. Balancing family life and a rapidly ascending career as a prosecutor distracts him from his past traumas, but only for so long. When a homicide victim is found with evidence linking him to Cope, the well-buried secrets of the prosecutor’s family are threatened.
Is this homicide victim one of the campers who disappeared with his sister? Could his sister be alive? Cope has to confront so much he left behind that summer twenty years ago: his first love, Lucy; his mother, who abandoned the family; and the secrets that his Russian parents might have been hiding even from their own children. Cope must decide what is better left hidden in the dark and what truths can be brought to the light.
Good ol' reliable Coben! He has yet to disappoint me; his books are great entertainment. A bit predictable, but still great fun. I enjoyed the fast-paced story, staying up far too late several nights in a row. Paul Copeland is a bit reminiscent of Myron Bolitar (from Coben's earlier works)... perhaps this is the beginning of a new series? My only quibble is that the humor seemed a bit forced early on, but I stopped noticing after a few chapters so it really wasn't too much of a distraction. I also appreciated the absence of Coben's usual convoluted finale. I didn't have to backtrack and try to sort things out with this one!